Alumni Story


December 2015

Kay Corr ’13

by Ramone Pierce ’11, ’13

Kay CorrMeet Kay Corr. A graduate from Saint Leo’s online computer information systems program, Kay is a beautiful illustration of someone utilizing cutting-edge technology to make her American dream come true: marriage, motherhood, college education, and fulfilling career. The first of her family to earn a degree, Kay explains how the challenges of obtaining her degree—while still devoting time to a full-time job, new husband, and a child involved in competitive sports—were made possible with the help of a laptop computer, self-discipline, and many wonderful professors. Kay also embodies Saint Leo’s core values as she reached out to help a fellow student struggling in an area in which she felt confident. Kay Corr, Saint Leo University alumna, you are an important part of the Pride!

Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I was born and raised in Austin, TX.

Q: Tell us about your family.

A: I have one grown daughter, who is a student at Old Dominion University. We were both in college at the same time.

Q: Where do you currently work? 

A:  I have worked at NASA Langley for 16 years. I started with system testing and configuration management. I am now in the role of configuration manager, IT security manager, supervisor of the IT team, and acting program manager for the Sierra Lobo workforce on the CMOE contract. I was promoted into the supervisory and acting program manager roles after I completed the BS in computer information systems degree with Saint Leo. I look forward to more leadership opportunities, and I have considered continuing my education.

Q: What courses did you study while at Saint Leo?

A: I earned a BS in computer information systems in 2013. I did the online courses in conjunction with the Saint Leo Virginia Peninsula and South Hampton Roads Education Centers (Newport News, Chesapeake, Fort Eustis, and Langley AFB Offices). I met several people in the classes, and some were in more than one of the classes I took. I did meet one classmate in person. We were in a statistics course together. This class required strong skills using Excel and formulas. This classmate was not doing well in the course and had posted to our course message board [asking] for anyone who could help her. This was her last class required before she graduated, and she was worried she would fail it. I noticed she was military—Air Force—and worked a Langley AFB. I was doing pretty well in the class as I had a lot of experience with Excel. I was learning how to use new formulas … but my comfort with Excel made that easier for me. We chatted and decided to meet at the Saint Leo office to see if I could help her with Excel. We met about three or four times. I helped her set up the spreadsheets and formulas for some of the problems provided by the courseware. She learned the technique very quickly and did not need much help after that. All the students would discuss the formulas and setting up problems on the course boards in this class, and we all did pretty well. At the end of the class, my friend contacted me to say she had passed and was grateful for the help. I enjoyed how well the majority of the classes were set up, how the instructor would help one student but we could all see their posts and also get the help needed if we shared the same difficulties. Having served six years in the Navy, I liked meeting so many military folks in the courses from all over the world. 

Q: How did the nontraditional student experience work for you (full-time job, single parent)?

A: I appreciated the flexibility of schedules. During much of my college experience, I was divorced and a single mom. I worked full time the entire time I was a student. I could only take one class at a time and had to skip a few semesters here and there. It took forever to complete a degree. Once I remarried, my current husband was in full support of my efforts. His support of me and my daughter made it possible for me to take courses every semester and eventually I started a full-time course load. Because the courses were available online, and I could do my work at any time of the day, I was able to manage this load. I could not have gone full time in a traditional college setting. My daughter was in competitive soccer, so we traveled for games. We took a family vacations. I dealt with family and work requirements and still made time for my school work load. I brought “my school” with me everywhere. I had my books (often online books) and my courses with me on my laptop. While my daughter was at practice, I was plugged into my homework at the picnic area next to the fields. While the family was relaxing with a movie, I could be completing an assignment. We were all home together. The only time they had to leave me alone was during an exam or test. It worked very well for us. 

Q: Do you have advice for current students or alumni?

A: Each student has to find his or her own pace and the structure that works. Saint Leo offers courses in the classroom, courses online, and courses that combine the two. Because of my demands to work full time and support my daughter, there was no way a classroom schedule could work for me. I know of other students who were not disciplined enough for the online courses. Try out each of the courses, and see how it goes for you. Saint Leo provides the courses all year long, and each course is accelerated. A degree is much more in reach than you think it is. Also, I set a good example for my daughter. How could I insist she get a degree if I was not willing to do the same? I was the first person in my family to get a college degree. Getting my degree ensures that my daughter and her children will know it is an achievable goal.

Q: Do you have an individual philosophy (favorite quote, words to live by)?

A: My favorite quote is my own: “Living the life I love.” Included in this philosophy is self-improvement. I am a person who enjoys learning and researching topics that impact my life. Completing a degree in my 40s while my own child was also a full-time college student was one of my favorite accomplishments and fully embodies the idea that I am living the life I love. 


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